An 81-year-old man from Beijing ranked No. 7,372 out of more than 20,000 runners in a half-marathon held last year in Beijing. It was the first half-marathon completed by the elderly running enthusiast, Tang Bocheng.
After graduating from university in 1962, Tang became a technical manager at a wood-working factory in Beijing. He began running in 1986 as a way to improve his health. However, he only had time to go for runs when he was on business trips, as his schedule didn't normally allow it.
Tang started devoting his full energy to running in 1998, after he retired from the factory. Since then, he has run almost every morning, even during Spring Festival. Tang said he feels happier while running than while having a feast.
Tang has established a running crew that includes people of all ages. They normally start running at 4:45 a.m. and finish at 6:00 a.m. In 70 minutes, they cover a distance of between 11 and 12 kilometers. When Tang runs, he looks just like any young person, holding a smart phone and checking various running apps.
Tang participated in his first half-marathon in 2016, when he was already 80 years old.
"I still want to run a marathon this year, and experience that happiness with my friends and the young people," said Tang, adding that he hopes to complete one marathon each year.